TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
A Conversation with Actress RHEA SEEHORN
By Eden Herbstman
If you’re familiar with actress Rhea Seehorn’s character Roxanne on NBC’s hit comedy Whitney, you know to expect weekly doses of filterless wisdom on the likes of relationships, life lessons, and drinking. Roxanne is the woman that says what everyone else is thinking, the good and especially the bad. No stranger to television, Rhea has played roles on The Closer, Franklin & Bash, Burn Notice, and the lead in I’m With Her. Roxanne may be one of Rhea’s bolder characters, and serves as an essential comedic piece to Whitney’s ensemble, who also isn’t afraid of a little armpit fat. Rhea dishes about the on-set environment, what she’s learned from playing Roxanne, and her girl-crush on Tina Fey.
Eden Herbstman: Congratulations on the second season of Whitney! Did you approach this season differently than the first?
Rhea Seehorn: No, not really. But it is certainly exciting to have the opportunity to keep growing and building on a character. Especially given the amazing writers we have, and the rest of my cast that I get to play off of and learn from, the longer a show goes, the greater the opportunity you have to build relationships and nuanced characters.
EH: Roxanne has a very outspoken voice, and doesn’t hold back when it comes to speaking her mind. Do you identify with this quality outside of playing your character?
RS: I identify with a lot of the things Roxanne says, well not all of them, but a lot of them. However, one big difference between the way she’s written and the way I really am, is that I don’t always say those thoughts. You can imagine how fun it is to play someone who does!
EH: Have you grown, or learned anything new about yourself , since playing Roxanne?
RS: Technically speaking I’ve learned well-timed silence is as much of a gift as a brilliant line is. Personally, playing her reminds me that getting back up in life is always going to be better than lying down.
EH: Who are some female comedians you admire?
RS: Well, obviously Whitney Cummings! I admired her and was a huge fan before I ever met her. Now that I see just how talented and whip-smart she is in so many areas, I’m definitely in awe. In addition to that, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that one of my recurring fantasies just has to do with Tina Fey agreeing to be my friend and hanging out. We don’t have to do anything special, just hanging out…you know, like besties do.
EH: You get to work with so many other talented actors on the show, what is the dynamic like between you guys on and off set?
RS:I know this is not a very titillating answer, but this cast is amazing on stage and off. Truly some of the funniest and smartest people I’ve ever had the good fortune of working with and hanging out with.
EH: Who would be your dream guest star on Whitney be?
RS: Tina Fey. Duh.
Rhea Seehorn is an actress, currently playing the role of Roxanne on Whitney Cummings’ show Whitney.
Written and Edited by Eden Herbstman
Photography by David Crotty for Patrick McMullan.com
Design by Eden Herbstman